May 28th, the next court date for COLA and Elvin Penner, draws nearer, and with no lead as to where the missing Elvin Penner files might be, COLA is turning to Prime Minister of Belize for help. Yesterday COLA sent a letter to the PM stating that, “We proceeded with this action as recommended by you on the 17th of February, 2014″ .
The grassroots organization and their attorney Kareem Musa were denied the access to information from the auditor general, and the commissioner of police, they state, has refused to comply, and while only the DPP has agreed to assist, she cannot provide due to circumstances.
According to the Letter “On the 28th of March, 2014, the Auditor General, in response to our request for materials and evidence gathered by her office in the course of an independent investigation, denied our request and instead stated that she has submitted a “preliminary report” to your office.”
It further went on to say that “the records will reflect, on the 15th of October, 2013, you publicly stated at a press conference that, “More evidence has surfaced of the involvement of Elvin Penner in other instances of what to us is impropriety. The material presented to Cabinet was and is enough for us to feel that Elvin Penner was involved in additional instances of what I will term “irregularities.””
COLA, and it’s leader, Geovanni Bracket, are requesting from the Minister
(1) The preliminary report provided by the Auditor General on the 21st of March, 2014;
(2) the scanned documents produced to you by Minister Hulse and referred to at your press conference held on the 15th of October, 2013; and finally
(3) any and all other materials and evidence provided to you by any of the authorities that have been carrying out an investigation into the wrongdoings by your former Minister of State, Elvin Penner. But while COLA waits for the Prime Minister’s response, the DPP is still at odds with the Commissioner of Police over the missing Penner files. Minister of Immigration, Honorable Godwin Hulse gave us his thoughts on this back and forth
“I don’t understand the back-and-forth at all because, let’s be clear: from the day no. 1 when the story broke, everybody in the country now knows that we have a copy of a certificate of Nationality signed by Minister Penner –a copy-. We don’t know where the original is. Everybody knows that there is also an application form for passport which we have; the police have seen it; everybody have seen that, and everybody knows that Minister Penner via an email which, of course, the DPP has to determine whether those are valid evidence in court, etc. So, the original file of the application where the original certificate would have been on that, we have not been able to locate from Day1. So, I don’t know what additional evidence the police has. That’s their thing: they have been speaking to officers in the Department, and so, that particular file would have been with the police”.
Something else that is of some interest to COLA is the original Won Hong Kim Passport that Hulse says is coming back to Belize, at the request of the Police, sometime this month
Senator Godwin Hulse: “They have made a request to the Ministry for the original passport. That is through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have advised us that the ambassador will be coming sometime to Belize, I think it is this month, very shortly and will be bringing that original passport. There is an issue of that passport going aerie and therefore, they didn’t want to as except to have it couriered. I cannot even guarantee that it is even coming in her hand, but somehow, it is going to get her through her presence”.
Reporter: “What is the procedure after that? Where does it go from there?”
Senator Godwin Hulse: “The DPP?”
Reporter: “Do you have any fear or any reservations about it missing…the very same thing that you are concerned about in terms of it coming from where it is now to here?”
Senator Godwin Hulse: “Absolutely none, because if it goes missing, we know into who’s hands it is. There has always been a proper chain of command and a properly chain of command’s documentation and chain of evidence”.
The Minister also commented on those missing files from the Immigration department which came in to the possession of Attorney Arthur Saldivar.
Senator Godwin Hulse: “The Commissioner has said this is an ongoing investigation. I repeat again that I am a little bit disappointed that we have not been able to determine that yet. But it is an ongoing situation. We need to know first, how is it that so many files (Mr. Arthur Saldivar said 150, I repeat that)_he has turned over, as I understand it, 5. So, there is 145 to go; the police is still looking into that. Where are those files and how it got out of the Department, because that is of our primary interest, included in those, maybe the Wong Kong Kim file for all we know”.